Just before I go, I’d like to welcome some new followers, and to say once again Thank You Very Much for visiting my blog, for your kindness and support ~ it means such a lot and I do enjoy reading your little messages!
There is rather an exciting ‘something’ happening in my crochet bag. My gorgeous new wool supply is rapidly becoming a gorgeous Rainbow Ripple blanket (henceforth known as RR). Ive even splurged on a couple of extra colours, a lighter shade of green to balance out the darker olive shade (I wasn’t too happy with it sitting on its own in such a dark manner!), and a bright blue. These will be added to the ripply layers that follow.
Oh my goodness, its so nice to crochet ripples though, after many moons of creating grannies that needed 4 colours or more its a pleasure to glide up and down these little ripply hills with no need for changing wool shade every few minutes. Which makes it quite a fast thing to do, and ulitmately very relaxing (although you must stay on the ball with your counting, several times Ive cocked up and had to undo a whole row!!)
We are really feeling spring here in fits and starts now – starting to notice that the evenings are lighter for just a little longer which is heaven, and then there is an occasional ‘feel’ in the air when the sun shines that makes you suddenley very happy and heart skippy. The irises in my green pot outside the back door have produced their first beautiful flower, and Im called to filling jam jars and the like with outrageously bright tulips!
Another necessary tonic in our home is of course, chocolate. Its a staple food here as much as bread and potatoes are!! And how tempting are the shops right now with their shimmering pink and red foil wrapped delights, all dolled up for Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t help myself, two little bags of caramel hearts found their way home with me the other day, I was completely seduced by them!!
Anyway, as I was flicking through Coast, my eye caught sight of this photograph…spot the crocheted granny blanket in the corner! I love this little room, leading out onto a tiny garden!
Oh goodness, time is slipping away from me at the speed of sound these days. I am making slow progress at the moment with my painting, although the character is ready in all her guises in my sketchbook. Ive done a couple of paintings of naughty Mo so far, this one is almost finished and the minx is clearly running away from some grave misdeed judging by the crafty look on her face! I just need to tweak a few bits, add a bit more depth and detail here and there and the background needs playing about with too. But you can get the gist of her now I think.
This weekend Ive got a few hours grace to work on these properly, so the images will be all packaged up and heading South in a few days. It’s the Bologna Book Fair in March too, so Ive also got to make a mini portfolio of my illustrations to send to the Agency so they can take some examples of my work with them when they go. I wish I could make myself small enough to travel with them!! 😀
Anyway, Im off to visit a few of your blogs now – cup of tea on the table and a nice chocolate brownie baked by me and the Little Miss! Thank you to all of you who have stopped by, its always lovely to see you! Do leave me a little note if you like and I’ll make sure I pop by your blog to say hello!
Have a magical weekend, filled with sparkling surprises and love!
The longing for the summer is getting stronger, so I made a mosaic of some of my favourite photographs which are all things South West, summer and beach to cheer myself up.
Isn’t it lovely?
Just looking at it makes me feel happy…and its easy to ignore the rather intense freezing fog which has pervaded every nook and cranny of our valley this evening when Im looking at those pictures.
As I was in the process of uploading my pics to the magical mosaic maker, I was browsing a few blogs and discovered that Diane over at Heartshaped was having similar coastal longings and had posted the most beautiful photograph of Porthmeor at sunset…I think this time of year can be especially hard, so I love that fellow bloggers are sharing their sunniest, most emotive pictures here to lift the gloom that January sometimes brings.
Meanwhile, in the art corner…
…work is a-happening. Oh yes, after a faithful pledge at New Year to devote more time to my art in 2010, I have so far managed to do this and Im currently engrossed in a new illustration piece that Im very happy about. Its not quite finished, but if you take a peek in the photograph below, you might just be able to see it!
Im feeling very inspired at the moment, plenty of ideas swirling around in the old grey matter – Ive shelved the sewing stuff for the time being in favour of the painting, and will perhaps make bits and bobs along the way. Id discovered of late that I was perhaps pulling myself in too many directions, and whilst I cannot deny that I love crocheting and sewing and making etc, Im not going to let them become pressures that overwhelm and bring headaches. I have been reading my business books, (some which are proving to be more useful than others), have taken part in some of the exercises and answered some thought provoking questions – and you know, its really rather good to have someone ask you this stuff. It makes you think. And it made me think about direction and goals, and what I want to achieve, what is important to me and what is not quite so important…
and so I know now, without a shadow of a doubt that my first love is my painting, that I couldn’t live without it…and perhaps my second is crochet as its a wonderfully meditative way to switch off from the world. Sewing and felting etc all come after that, and by acknowledging this, its been a bit like a permission slip to ease up on myself, not put so much pressure upon little old me to make and do in every single medium.
And that feels very, very good. 🙂
Its story time now for a certain Little Someone, so I shall bid you all a fond goodnight, and look forward to browsing your blogs over the coming weekend – speaking of which, we are hoping (fingers crossed the Woodhead or Snake passes are open again in time) to amble across to Salford on Sunday, to The Lowry where there is a fabulous exhibition on til the 31st January called ‘The Sea’
featuring work by Lowry and Maggi Hambling (the wonderful artist responsible for the big Scallop Shell on the beach at Aldeburgh, Suffolk).
Whatever you do, keep warm, remember each day is lighter a little longer…and the snow seems to be melting, in Yorkshire at least!
Julia x x x
Not that Im complaining, I love her to bits and that side of my life is what makes my creative life so enriched.
So it seems my dining room is being turned into a small production room where Christmas cards are printed, boxes of cards are put together, pictures are painted or stitched and sewn and finally, when my bottom can no longer endure the hard wooden chairs I retreat to the living room and the comfort of the squishy sofa to dig out the crochet bag and create little one-off decorations….want a peep? Of course you do!
This little fellow is quite jolly, with his festive hat and scarf, finished with a wooden bead and a hanging cord (which I think you can just make out by my fore finger) – he’s the only one though – my theme this year is to create completely unique decorations so once they have gone there are no more! It means its alot of fun too, coming up with lots of individual designs and hopefully, my lovely customers, should they be tempted to purchase, will be going home with not only a cute little handmade dec, but a warm fuzzy feeling that theirs is the only one in the world!! 🙂
Inspired by a post on Attic24 lately, I decided to make a little bird to add to my decoration stash. I have a thing for birds (I love drawing them with fat little bodies), and last night using a circular crocheted template (you can see Lucy’s pattern for more info) I came up with this little chap. His eyes are made with sequins and swarovski crystals which should capture the glow of the fairy lights and twinkle beautifully! He hangs from a crocheted cord that has been adorned with two colourful wooden beads.
So, all this takes place as the nights draw in and the rain hammers on the windows which makes me feel jolly glad to be tucked up indoors with my art and crafts. But its not all work, oh no!! Not that I actually feel that it is work you understand, anything that I make or paint is the nicest thing to be doing and very rarely a chore – but you know what I mean in that sometimes we have to tool down and get outdoors!
Well, I had better press on! I have the house to myself this afternoon as the Little One is being entertained by Nannie and Grandad and I have not a moment to waste!! Another decoration is beckoning and there is much to do before I feel satisfied with my stash!
I hope you all have cheerful weekends, for us its a trip to a village Christmas Fair – yes, I know its early but you never know what lovely things you might find at these places and I love being able to give someone special a gorgeous handmade something.
See you again soon,
Love J xxx
You know the trouble with being a creative person is that there is always something else you want to be doing. Whilst working on my most recent piece; ‘Well & Joy’ I found my mind drifting towards crochet projects after purchasing some beautiful hand made ceramic buttons from this lovely lady at Incy Wincy Stitches with which to adorn some crocheted corsages!
Anyway, before I drift off into a reverie of buttons, cashmerino wool and the like, I felt I had to share my illustration piece with you, and in all its completed glory, here it is!! You can see a bigger version here.